Fishing is one of the riskiest occupations of the world
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Bay of Bengal Programme Inter-Governmental Organisation (BOBP-IGO) have collaborated to produce an illustrated Manual on occupational safety of small-scale fishers using fishing vessels less than 12 meters of length. The Manual provides a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts, emergency tips, and survival techniques which can be followed by fishers to ensure that they are prepared for facing the perils at sea to save their life. The Manual is available in multiple languages: English, French, Spanish, Tamil and Sinhala and a revised version for use of Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean region. Electronic copies of the Manual are available from FAO and BOBP websites and hard copies are available upon request.
Dr Raymon VanAnrooy, Senior Fishery Officer, FAO, on the release of the Manuals said that fishing is one of the riskiest occupations in the world. Especially for small-scale fisheries, most of whom are in the developing countries, where safety at sea is often of least concern. The Manual will meet the practical and regulatory void to improve the conditions of the small-scale fishers and fish workers. The Manual supports ensuring human dignity and right to life and decent working conditions as delineated in the FAO Voluntary Guideline on Small-Scale Fisheries.
Dr Yugraj Singh Yadava, Director, BOBP-IGO said that small-scale fishers are often the most vulnerable sections of the society, especially in the coastal countries surrounding the Bay of Bengal. Poor standards of safety at sea often led to fatal accidents leading to the destitution of fishing families. The Manual illustrated like comic books is easy to read and understand even with little educational qualification. It can help fishers to self-improve their safety regime while for fisheries officials it provides a checklist, which can be used for awareness building, training and monitoring safety standards in fishing vessels.
The BOBP-IGO is a regional fisheries advisory body with focuses on sustainable fisheries and livelihood security of fishers in the Bay of Bengal region. Safety at Sea for fishers is a major area of the work of the Organisation. In the past, the Organisation provided effective technical solutions such as ‘Life Float’ to improve the safety standard in fisheries.
For further information on the safety of small-scale fishing vessels, please see:
1) FAO/ILO/IMO. Safety Recommendations for Decked Fishing Vessels of Less than 12 meters in Length and Undecked Fishing Vessels available at: Download
2) Fisheries operations. Best practices to improve safety at sea in the fisheries sector. FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries. No. 1, Suppl. 3. Rome, available at: Download
3) FAO/SIDA/IMO/BOBP-IGO. Safety Guide for Small Fishing Boats. BOBP/REP/112 available at: Download